Mark Landis is a strange personality. He has broken no real laws, yet his persona is left shrouded in negativity and expletives from the people he has fooled and affected over the past thirty years. Landis is a forger of fine art. And he has been overwhelmingly successful in his ability to get curators of museums to actually hang his art beside real works for people to "admire." Mark Landis is a liar and a con artist. But he may also be an exceptional fine artist in his own right if he were to just choose that path rather than the one he has set for himself.
In Art and Craft, Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker have created a truly provocative argument about the qualities of a man who's only accomplishments have lain in tomfoolery and misdirection thus far. Their film feels fluid and cinematic at every turn. And the manner with which they approach their subject is never with a malicious intent. And while Mark Landis is likely a lost soul at this stage in his life, the question always lingers: can his odd set of skills be turned to good?
When you experience Landis' personality and level of ability for an hour and a half, it may seem difficult to understand where he's coming from, but it is clear that he is someone who needs help; a lost soul. Every path he's taken has been from the perspective of a child playing games and building arts and crafts. But he is an aged man who has been left to live on more psychological meds than he can count. And while there may be no happy ending to this story, I found Art and Craft to be a compelling exploration of one of the more bizarre real life characters in recent memory.